In Washington, Mayor Rybak Seeks More Tornado Aid

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is in Washington seeking more aid to help North Minneapolis tornado victims.

Interviewed on The WCCO Morning News with Dave Lee, Rybak said he was meeting with representatives from several federal agencies to look at a coordinated way in which the city can follow through with its response to the May 22 disaster.

“We’re already using a lot of federal funds in North Minneapolis, especially housing vouchers and other things to get people housing. Frankly, we need more because of the complicated situation. We also need to get into issues beyond that,” he said.

WCCO’s Dave Lee Interviews Mayor R.T. Rybak

The mayor said his plans for Monday include a meeting on Capitol Hill with Minnesota senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison’s staff. Later Monday afternoon, Rybak will return to the White House for a meeting with President Obama and several other mayors.

“I previously been invited with 10 mayors to meet with the president. He’s the president, we’ll talk about whatever he wants to, but if I get a chance I’m going to raise the tornado,” he said. “It’s not a tornado meeting, but it’s certainly on my mind.”

Last week, FEMA announced it would not be providing any individual assistance to the people who live there.

“FEMA aid to individuals is only one way to get help to people and there’s a very high bar that’s very difficult to get. But we will be pursuing ways to help homeowners who are having trouble, small businesses that may need loans, and mental health issues for young kids that have gone through trauma,” Rybak said.

The mayor said he’s realistic about his appeal to the president.

“Don’t expect me to walk out of the White House with a check,” he said.

Rybak hopes a series of ongoing communications with various departments will help the city obtain more funding for small businesses displaced by the twister and money for demolition for properties that can’t be restored. He said he also hopes to get assistance for some of the unique situations in neighborhoods where 50 percent of the people are uninsured renters.

“This was a bad tornado and it couldn’t have really picked too many neighborhoods that had higher needs than this,” he said.

As for the threat of a state government shutdown on July 1, Rybak said he is expected to deliver a budget on Aug. 15, but it’s a little complicated when he doesn’t know what’s coming from the state.

“I think a lot about my brother-in-law who does computer programming for the state. As a mayor, it has a huge impact on thousands of stories like that with my brother-in-law. I’m frustrated and I would like them to get a solution,” he said.

Rybak also attended the 79th annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in Baltimore this weekend. The conference advises mayors from across the country on ways to deal with cuts in government aid, how to create jobs and how to promote sustainable development.

  • Dale Gribble

    Rybak needs more handout money to buy votes from welfare cheats. Look at him go to Washington to beg for money to keep his DemocRAT administration in office. Next, he’ll bus in more people from Chicago to vote for him in the next election.

    • travis

      and look at what scott walker did to ensure republican control of wisconsin. I’m sure you have no problem with a republican usurping the constitution… but a democrat trying to help the poor… heven forbid.

      • travis

        *heaven… sorry, keys are sticking. Dale Gribble… I may not agree with you, but I give you props on your name.

  • Jim

    Maybe Dayton should have flown on the same plane. Then they could both be begging in Washington for more handouts. Isn’t that the problem when you give people handouts and houses? When something happens like time passing, they don’t have any money to repair their houses? Just raise taxes.

  • Sam I am

    Uninsured renters are not the problem of the City of Minneapolis, State of Minnesota nor the Federal Government. It is their own fault that they can’t pay the $13.50 each month for renters insurance.

    That is how much I pay for name brand renters insurance. Maybe they need to turn off the cell phone and pay for the insurance.

    They should be in Joplin Missouri. Now that is a unique situation. The town was darn near wiped off the map.

  • travis

    whatever happened to compassionate conservatism? It seems to have been replaced with “f you, you’re on your own” conservatism. many people lost there home through no fault of their own. 2 people lost their lives. Sure, it was a poor neighborhood. That doesn’t mean that some people hadn’t worked all their lives for what they had. May God send a tornado through the suburbs… and lets see your respnonse then. People cannot be as mean in real life as they are online.

    • Dale Gribble

      Why should I pay to support lazy, ignorant, criminal negroid-types who have never worked a day in their lives and exist only to put traitorous socialist DemocRATs in office? Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution, comrade?

  • travis

    i am a democrat… so in your eyes, I’m sure I’m part of the problem. Are you saying that everyone in the tornado neighborhood is a “negroid type” who has never worked? Everyone? I’m glad you can deal out judgments so easy, cause for most of us its pretty hard. Race doesn’t matter, but a friend of mine, a white, single, very hard working mother… had her home heavily dammaged. Is it ok to help the hard working white people in the neighborhood?

    • Jim

      Why can’t they have home or rental insurance? If they own a house and have a mortgage they are covered. If they own their home and chose not to have insurance that is a poor choice. How can you not have rental insurance? It’s dirt cheap. Other than looking for handouts, IE apartments burnt down in burnsville and somebody steps up and donates 1 million dollars… something like 26k to each apartment. Why shouldn’t rental insurance be required? You think the dem’s would be onto that. We pay the rent, we paid for all the stuff in between the walls, we pay for everyone of their poor decisions, why can’t they step up and take care of themselves at all? Smoke 3 less packs of cigarettes a month, or drink a 1/5th less of alcohol beverage and you can afford renters insurance. Turns out they are the people that keep electing broken mayors that will milk the govt cow for them, and will continue to do so. Turns out poor people have more kids, so there are always going to be more and more poor people without insurance or good to mediocre decision making.

      • Travis

        she does have home owner’s insurance. However, we all know that insurance companies like to pay out as little as possible in these mass damage situations.

  • Dale Gribble

    Single mother? Probably not a Christian, then. And probably still accepting public handouts, and therefore a shill voter for the treasonous DFL. And the fathers of her children? I can’t help but notice you didn’t mention what their races were…
    No, I can’t see my tax dollars going to pay for that sort of liberal immorality and criminality.

    • travis

      The father of her one child is white. I didn’t mention that because it shouldn’t matter. They were married for 15 years and recently seperated. Can I call you a racist yet? The GOP is welcoming people like you with open arms… its getting gross.

      • Dale Gribble

        Typical PC liberal, always ready to call anyone who dissents from the party line a racist. This is why we have an illegal alien Muslim in the White House. And why Michelle Bachmann and the Tea Party are going to have all of your hides come 2013.

        • Travis

          thank you for proving my point again dale. I’m not looking for validation from ohers in what I say, but you’ve given it to me. Again, republicans out there… these people are being welcomed into your party… do you really want to allign yourselves with them?

          • Marston

            Would it be something like a poll tax if it was required for people to not be on government assistance to vote? Simply to eliminate the conflict of interest for peopling voting for the DFL.

            • travis

              or we could go back to the 3/5ths law. (sarcastic)

              • Tammy

                Try getting rid of the cable TV, cell phone, shop and ALDI, pawn anything you have. Sometimes you have to make difficult choices. I am a diivorced with 5 kids. My ex has NEVER paid a nickle of support and Anoka county is fine with it. I also rent a home and have my own renter’s insurance. $13.50 a month. A little amount of money for peace of mind. FYI, I am white, conservative and believe in personal responsibility not community responsibility

                There is no reason Rybak should be in Washington begging for more money. He is not setting a good example, or better yet he is leading by example.

  • bri-unit

    Should of paid for the renters insurance. I almost laughed out loud when he said this was a pretty bad tornado. Take a look at Joplin, that”s bad. The tornado happened a month ago, and they are still begging for people to clean up their debris.

  • nancy hicks-gribble

    Dale… go back down to your basement!

  • Randy In Saint Paul

    I live over in st. paul, and the tornado took some branches down out of my tree, took some paint of the house, damaged my roof, and made the grass grow 12 inches. Why isn’t Chris Coleman stepping up to the plate for me? We need fema money! HELP US!

  • travis

    of course joplin was worse. However, when something terrible happens to your neighborhood, you don’t say “oh well, it was much worse 2 states away. In a way, I understand the argument about renters insurancce. However, what about the home owners who lost their house… not the renters who lost their appartment unit? I can’t be the only one out there defending this.

    • The truth

      Travis, a lot of these people drive without car insurance. Do you really think they are going to take the time to buy renters insurance.Always looking for a handout is a way of life for some of them.

      • travis

        for some of them yes… but not for all who live there. and that has been my point.

        • The truth

          Get over it Travis. I hope your friend gets her home fixed. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a rich Republican. Don’t get why you are so defensive.

        • Rocky

          The “not all” argument doesn’t hold water. 55% of people in Minnesota are on some form of govt assistance, that may not be “all” but it is definitely “Most”. And one can assume that poorer neighborhoods or areas receive more than people in nice neighborhoods. You are the one that implied anyone is “ethnic”, I just think everyone has a commitment to society to minimize their burden on others, and try to point out that getting money from the govt isn’t making money just appear, it comes from other people’s pockets.

          • travis

            “I just think everyone has a commitment to society to minimize their burden on others.” Agreed. sorry about implying ethniciity. I was having a conversation with dale gribble where he clearly brought up race. Seconds later was your comment. In my mind, at that time, the two were associated… but they clearly were not.

          • Todd W. Olson

            I’m going to call you on that statistic, Rocky. Can you cite an objective source?

            • Rocky

              Provide your own www here ***

              The data you are looking for is in the last few sheets.

    • Rocky

      I doubt any mortgage company out there allows you to not have home insurance, and if they own their home free and clear it’s stupidity to not have home insurance to protect their investment that they fully paid off. Travis, these people don’t need financial help, they don’t need keith ellison’s “good jobs” they just need to get a job so they have less time for humping and can pay for the kids they have.

      • travis

        you are generalizing an entire neighborhood on what you think a poor, ethnic, government assisted family is. Not everyone in that area is on government assistance. Many have jobs. Many owned their homes or had a mortgage that they were paying. Many had insurance. Insurance doesn’t cover everything. In a few cases it covers hardly anything.

        • travis

          believe me… I don’t agree with people who “suck on the govermnment tit” for life. But not everyone who lives there does or ever has.

  • just sayin

    A lot of those houses are rental. And a lot are owned.
    Definately A LOT of scum in the area, and there are working class in that area.

    Fact is, insurance PERIOD.
    If I had a tornado rip through my house. I’d have my insurance co. notified right away. PERIOD.

    Start cleaning up the yard – call my siblings/parents for a place to stay.
    Take all my valuable posessions out (all my gold and silver bars)
    go to the nearest liquor store, get me some beer, and work on my yard again.
    Line up a company to fix my house, work with my insurance agency on the details…
    See where I am going? Notice anything?
    I wouldn’t expect any help from anyone.

  • travis

    I’m just passionate about helping people. I never thought everyone who disgreed with me was a rich republican. The only person that I felt defensive and somewhat angered by was dale gribble. I’ll always beleve there are people worth fighting for… many of them in north minneapolis ;-)

    • thinking

      Not all republicans are rich, and if you think it might help you financially, then well, become a republican.

    • The truth

      There will always be givers and takers. I have $10 in my savings and have never asked for a handout. I also have a family member who continues to have children at your expense.

    • Rocky

      I don’t have a problem with helping people, or even having a “safety net” but when that turns into a metaphorical hammock for people something needs to be done. People are moving out of North Minneapolis like Detroit due to the less favorable conditions.

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